December 4, 2016: Hola everyone! Winter has arrived in Milwaukee and there are snow flurries today. Despite several hard freezes remarkably my "spikes" in two of my patio planters have absolutely refused to die. The rosemary and thyme plants I nursed inside the house through last winter spent the summer in their pot outside next to the side stoop off the driveway, where they get plenty of sunshine all day long. I transplanted them into a cozy sheltered spot right next to the stoop in October and they are still green and growing, too! With the delay in getting the drywall patching done in the relatively minor "reconstruction" work I had done in my kitchen, I am way behind my time in getting the house decorated. But yesterday I got my wreath decked out with extra lights and dressed the front door of the house, and my battery-operated traditional candles were put up on the window sills all around the house Friday evening. It becomes a ritual to go around at dusk and turn the tops to the right to turn the candles "on" and at bedtime to go around and turn the tops to the left to turn the candles "off." Today I put some "glittery" throw pillow covers purchased new last month from H&M on three of my sofa pillows to glam things up a bit in the living room and add some sparkle. Later on, after I sufficiently fuel myself up with wine and snacks and probably to distract myself while I listen to the Packers game on the radio, I will huff and puff and pull my artificial tree up from storage in the basement. I will decorate it simply this year. Every year I say that, and every year I end up throwing just about everything except the kitchen sink on the tree. I am very proud of myself this year, though. I did not buy a single new ornament or Christmas doo-dad for the house (throw pillow covers don't count!!!) Happy Holidays to all, with hope and fervent prayers for 2017. I've a feeling we're all going to need a lot of help from Goddess in the coming year. Jan

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Breakfast in Las Vegas...

Hola darlings!

I am back home from three wonderful days in Las Vegas.

Whew!  What a whirlwind.  I have lots to write about, don't know if I'll get to it all, but it sure was fun showing Thelma around for her very first visit to the city that is my #1 place to go for a great short fantasy get-away. 

The weather was so perfect in LV for this waterlogged Milwaukee girl!  Arrived in LV on Tuesday March 23 to sunshine, a few horse-tail like clouds in the sky, low humidity and about 83 degrees F, after nearly two solid weeks of unrelenting darkness, gloom, cold and rain rain rain here!  Flash floods warnings were all over the place in Wisconsin, up north (unofficially defined as any place north of Milwaukee 100 miles or more, LOL!) got SNOW - lots of SNOW!  Awful awful awful. 

I want to talk about breakfast in Las Vegas - specifically, my breakfasts in Las Vegas.

These days, as I continue to educate myself on the importance of proper nutrition in aiding weight management, I try for a good balance among carbs, fiber and protein.  I don't always do that in practice during the harried work week, but when I'm on vacation, I go for it because I've got the luxury of time (and someone else making the actual meal) do to so.  And the good habits do carry over for awhile, at least.

If you are familiar with Las Vegas, perhaps you have heard about a restaurant that has achieved iconic status in LV:  The Peppermill!

It is just to the south of the Riviera Hotel complex on The Strip in a stand-alone restaurant -- a rarity these days -- and kitty-corner from Circus Circus, which is across the wide roadway.  I am not sure, but my guess is that the Riviera and Circus Circus are the oldest remaining intact hotel complexes still existing on The Strip.  So much has changed since 1979, which was the very first time I ever step foot LV.  Sigh.

But the Peppermill is still there and, judging by the number of people coming and going as Thelma and I enjoyed our breakfast there on Wednesday morning (April 24), it is as popular as ever!  That makes me very happy.  The food is great.  Yes, the prices have risen over the years - what hasn't?  Generally speaking, though, lower than average elsewhere at the hotels on The Strip.  Everything I've ever eaten at the Peppermill has been and continues to be cooked perfectly to order.. I'm very fussy about my scrambled eggs being cooked 'loose,' for instance, and although I am generally loathe to send a dish back or complain because I appreciate how hard these people work to try and please us, I've never had a complaint, not even a miniscule one, about any dish I've had at the Peppermill.  Value-wise, best on the Strip, to my knowledge.  Be careful what you order, because the portions are so generous, unless you have a lumberjack appetite you will be leaving food behind or taking it to go, and good luck with that because the vast majority of Las Vegas hotel rooms do not have a fridge and microwave to allow you such a luxury as keeping left-overs for later! 

The staff is - wonderful.  The bussers are discreet and uber-efficient. The wait-staff are pros but friendly and homey, and just make you feel comfortable right away. These people know there stuff!  The decor is - purple and pink and green and very 1970's and I luv luv luv it!  Immaculately clean and well-maintained.  Best hash browns I've ever had -- perfectly cooked -- tender, juicy, not overdone, or mushy (underdone), with just the right degree of "brown-ness" on the outside.  And not greasy. YUM!  How the hell do they do that???

These days my appetite is not what it used to be.  I get filled up quickly and ordering a $12.95 gigantic plate of food I cannot possibly eat is a waste of money for me.  Fortunately, The Peppermill offers an excellent ala carte menu and I can build a meal that I know I will be able to eat with pleasure because it won't be too much, so I won't feel as if I'm wasting food (hey, I am a child of two parents who were raised during the Great Depression, and it left its mark on them, and they have left their marks on me) and I am happy with the prices of the individual selections, too. 

Normally, darlings, I do not have a cocktail first thing in the morning with my breakfast.  But this particular day, with this particular travel companion, I thought - what the hell.  And so when the cocktail waitress came around and offered some suggestions, I ordered a non-spicy Bloody Mary and, to my delighted surprise, Thelma ordered a Mimomsa! 

Our meals were perfectly cooked and delivered.  Wish these photos did justice to them:

Thelma ordered a feta cheese and veggy omelet which comes with a side of your choice, she chose has-browns, and her Mimomsa drink which, as you can see, she had made some inroads on while we were waiting for our meal to arrive...

And I ordered this --

-- aforesaid non-spicy Bloody Mary (as you may be able to deduce by the markedly decreased volume of liquid in the glass, I was happily sipping inroads to my drink while chatting away with Thelma as we waited for our entrees to arrive).  Our dishes arrived piping hot and done to perfection.  I ordred ala carte three soft-scrambled eggs (did I mention that they were perfectly cooked? Because they were perfectly cooked), and hash browns -- look at them - hey, what can I say, I'm salivating just looking at this photograph I took -  woo woo!

Left nary a bite-size morsel on my plate.  Thelma polished off most of her somewhat larger meal, too.  Well, she's still a growing girl, what can I say - and she's several inches taller than I am and uses a lot more energy that I do - she's like following a whirlwind around, that girl!)  Thelma and I left the Peppermill happy and full, and nodding to each other that we will be back again, soon.

P.S.  Shortly after I took this photo, a couple were seated at the table that you can see at the top of the photo, above.  She was definitely American, he was definitely European. I wasn't eavesdropping on their conversation, but sometimes you overheart snippets of conversation... her accent was American with a slight hint of Latina, and his accented English was German, I think.  What can I say?  Hey - Las Vegas - universal city.  That's one of the reasons I love visiting there.  Not to mention, but here I am doing it anyway, that the Peppermill was Mr. Don's favorite place to have breakfast after I took him there for the first time in November, 2003 and several visits thereafter. Going there again after his passing away last October brought back many fond memories, as well as making new ones.  So I was sad/happy at the same time.  

I did not take photographs of the other breakfasts I had during this Las Vegas dash (April 23-25, left at 1:55 p.m. April 26).  Ech of those breakfasts in their own way, were just as good!  But I'm tired now, it's been a long day and it's 12:13 a.m. Milwaukee time early Saturday morning.  More tomorrow.

Here is a photograph I found of the Peppermill from Planet 99 online, taken, I believe, in January, 2003.  Oh, the memories!  The Peppermill is still the same but the background to the southeast no longer exists...  The Encore and the Wynn are there now in place of the torn-down buildings that used to be there:

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